Would it be right to call your constant social media forum usage an addiction? The way you can’t put your phone down after the end of your newsfeed on Facebook, how you can’t stop scrolling down your instagram account? In real, it is quite evident that this actually is a behavior that is observed in the situations of one being addicted.
This observation, however is not merely a statement, there is pretty strong scientific background to it as well.
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Messing with the brain:
Staying online actually stimulates a person’s rewarding centers. Dopamine, a chemical that brings about the feel of pleasure and need, also gets released while being on a social media forum.
Its such a strong chemical that its pull is stronger than alcohol and cigarettes, making about 60% of the women and 55% of men addicted to it. They feel like something major will be missing if they stay away from their social media accounts.
Active participation, liking and sharing:
The trend of liking someone’s post and sharing came into being with the advent of social media forum usage. It grew exponentially, and almost everyone has liked or shared at least once. This behavior has heavy psychological background.
Around 68% people say that they share stuff to let people know who they actually are, as what they share represents them. 78% people claim that sharing keeps them connected to others and build their social circles.
Liking however, comes under the umbrella of reciprocity effect. When someone likes your posts, you feel obliged to do the same for them. This creates a chain reaction and the cycle continues.
The dark side:
However it may seem to be all helpful in connecting people and aiding them get to know each other, social media forum, like everything else, has its cons with some major pros.
A research conducted in the University of Salford on 298 social media users. At least half of them stated that social media has made things worse in their daily lives. Their self esteem has plummeted to a new low as they compare their accomplishments to that of some of the people that they follow online.
This has made people less appreciative of their own efforts if the results are not as extravagant as they’ve witnessed online.
Remedy to rescue:
It is an addictive behavior to be at the mercy of your online activities, however, you can help yourself and come out of it. It may be hard and you will have to constantly stay conscious of not falling a captive to your cravings, but, working hard, you can become the one controlling this habit rather than it controlling you.
There are simple steps to take that will ensure that you do not stay addicted to a social media forum:
- Limit your usage. Make conscious amends and put your phone down after a designated period of time has passed since you aimlessly started scrolling through your account.
- Unfollow your guilty pleasures. The pages that keep you hooked to their content for hours on end go and get rid of them. Stop following those sites.
- Do something productive. Spend your time instead reading a good book or completing the house chores that you have been putting off to read another funny meme.
- Take a social media detox. Spend some time away from this digital addiction. Divert your efforts to something else.
Article by Irfan Ahmad